William Ludwig Lutgens

William Ludwig Lutgens

Text written on the occasion of William Ludwig Lutgens' most recent solo exhibition at the gallery (2022).

My mind is the mind of a fish is a solo exhibition by William Ludwig Lutgens, presenting a selection of the artist’s most recent drawings and paintings. The works of Lutgens often emerge as a condensation of the streams of information that flow through his mind, from news programmes to overheard chatter. Snippets of realities, fantasies and fixations are given form on paper, wood, canvas and aluminum. Lutgens uses various painting techniques in an experimental manner, freely altering between watercolor, oil and acrylic paints. In his signature illustrative style, William Ludwig Lutgens creates works that reflect upon our social and political realities, as well as human behaviors, urges and lusts.

“My mind is the mind of a fish” are words Lutgens has borrowed from the American artist Paul Thek, written in a letter to Ann Wilson in 1969. In this letter, incoherent thoughts jump back and forth in a scattered sequence of sentences, hinting at madness or intoxication. The artist’s self- diagnosis is made in reference to the mind of a goldfish – only capable of holding on to a thought for five seconds according to a popular but mistaken belief. For Thek, though, there is comfort in the expressions of madness, in the incoherence of thought. There is an urge to transgress the objective reality, and an appreciation of the irrational as an escape or a path towards an insight of a special kind, which Thek considered the essence of art, incidentally.

My mind is the mind of a fish, like the mind of Lutgens, born in March, the Latin Piscis, plural Pisces, the constellation of two fishes entwined, and the zodiac sign, mutable water. One fish is directed towards the east, and the other towards the west: towards the spiritual, and towards the earthly realms. This constitutes the primal conflict in the Pisces who is all too aware of both directions, but slightly more comfortable in the heavenly realm than in the physical one. The ultimate objective is to have both fish healthy, energetic, and in touch with their process, swimming merrily along. But the mutable quality in the Pisces means that it has already had enough and it needs change – it is the gloom at the end of winter, dark and cold for too long, bearing the promise of spring, but not quite there yet, waiting frustrated.

My mind is the mind of a fish, and there are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says: “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes: “What the hell is water?” This was an anecdote that David Foster Wallace began his famous commencement speech with, adding that the point of it is that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about. The platitudes of everyday realities find their way into the work of William Ludwig Lutgens absurdly heightened, soaked under layers of bodily fluids, with a naked butt and eating potatoes. He is the other young fish trying to dodge the question about water with a silly joke, then laughing nervously, and staring off into the distance.

My mind is the mind of a fish, submerged in water, fluid, flowy, wavering, and above all mysterious, hence the most common symbol of the unconscious. For fishy creatures that we are, descending from water in an evolutionary sense, the unease surrounding this visceral matter is somewhat bizarre. There are old tales of Sirens, Nixies, or Rusalkas, singing songs so sweet and seductive one had to lose oneself, and tragically, in the waters upon hearing them. Thus the sense of danger, but perhaps the tales tell more about the relationship to the unconscious realm than the threats of it in itself. The piscis swims in the waters, and yes, he gets lost and seduced by the streams and the flows, but isn’t that the whole point of – I don’t know – his life?

Text written by Anna Laganovska, 2022

Artworks

William Ludwig Lutgens
The Narcissist came 3 Days Earlier Than Mentioned, 2022
Aquarelle, oil paint, graphite and drawing paper mounted on wood
24 x 30 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
A Bowl Of Bitter Sweet Marmalades , 2022
Aquarelle oil paint, air brush and rice paper mounted on stained wood
30,5 x 41,5 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
To Throw The Flower Crown At The Tree, 2022
Aquarelle, oil paint, graphite and drawing paper mounted on stained wood
24 x 30 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
I'm on edge, 2022
Aquarelle, and rice paper mounted on wood
40 x 29,9 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Queen Of Cups, Mother Of Fluids, 2022
Aquarelle, oil paint, and rice paper mounted on fish plank
90 x 20 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
A Bush Does Not Beat Its Own Branches , 2022
Aquarelle, oil paint, and rice paper mounted on stained wood
42 x 34 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Paul Bernardo and the cops, 2022
Aquarelle, acrylics, oil paint, and rice paper mounted on wood
41,7 x 34,2 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Don't Look Someone In The Eye While Eating A Bandana, 2022
Artist made fractured paper, spray paint, oil paint, bone glue on canvas and stained wood
140 x 110 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Different perceptions create different frustrations, 2022
Aquarelles, graphite and bone glue on rice paper and wood.
40,3 x 30,2 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
How To Tie A Knot With Your Lips Sewn Shut, 2022
Aquarelle, oil paint, and rice paper mounted on stained wood
46 x 36,5 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Bob Dylan had talked about herding sheep, 2022
Artist made fractured paper, spray paint, oil paint, sketching paper, aquarelles, bone glue on canvas and wood.
141,2 x 111,5 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
The City Will Suffer, 2022
Aquarelle, oil paint, and rice paper mounted on stained wood
45,7 x 35,5 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
It's A Potatoe, 2019 - 2022
Aquarelle on rice paper and Hanji paper, plexiglas glass and oil paint on artist made frame
22,5 x 31,5 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
You’ll get as good as you can get, 2022
Aquarelles, oil paint, graphite and bone glue on rice paper and wood.
40,3 x 30,2 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
It's The Year 2022 And Skinny Jeans Are Out Of Fashion, 2022
Aluminium offset plates, spray paint
316,5 x 241,5 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Call me a horse! Shakespeare in love, 2022
Artist made fractured paper, spray paint, oil paint, bone glue on canvas and wood
152,4 cm x 202 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Acute food insecurity forces, 2022
Artist made fractured paper, spray paint, oil paint, bone glue on canvas and stained wood
151,9 cm x 121,9 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
A painful matter into a circus, 2022
Artist made fractured paper, spray paint, oil paint, bone glue on canvas and stained wood

William Ludwig Lutgens
Touch the object touch the rum, 2022
Artist made fractured paper, textile, epoxy resin, spray paint, oil paint, bone glue on canvas and stained wood
114,4 cm x 153,5 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Sports goods lynching, 2022
Artist made fractured paper, textile, spray paint, oil paint, bone glue on canvas and stained wood
151,9 cm x 111,9 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Infectious as it seems to be, 2022
Artist made fractured paper, spray paint, oil paint, bone glue on canvas and stained wood
100,2 cm x 117,3 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
I didn't realise I was at a party , 2021
Artist made fractured paper, Hanji paper, sketching paper, spray paint, oil paint, beeswax, bone glue on canvas and stained wood
202,4 x 142,4 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Fears of an attempted coup de même, 2022
Artist made fractured paper, spray paint, oil paint, bone glue on canvas and stained wood
200,5 cm x 161,9 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
For simply being, 2022
Aquarelle, graphite, oil paint, rice paper and bone glue on wood
49,8 cm x 29,9 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Indigenous grabbers, 2021
Aquarelle, rice paper and bone glue on stained wood
28,9 cm x 24,3 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
More intense measures, 2022
Aquarelle, graphite, oil paint, rice paper and bone glue on wood
49,8 cm x 29,9 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Leo Leo Leo, 2021
ceramics, pigments, wood, metal, oil paint, straw, stockings, beeswax, latex, plastic, resin and wood stain
154 x 45 x 40 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Come on baby light my fire, 2021
Aquarelles, oil paint, graphite, beeswax and bone glue on rise paper and Japenese mulberry paper, mounted on wood
43,1 x 60,5cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Machete, 2021
ceramics, wood, textile, concrete, wood filament, beeswax, resin and wood stain
130 x 56 x 60 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Like a carousel circling around the moon, 2021
Aquarelles, oil paint, graphite, bone glue on rise paper and Japanese mulberry paper, mounted on wood
60,7 x 43,1 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
And soon my arms were all around her, 2021
Aquarelles, graphite, oil paint, bone glue on rise paper and Hanji paper, mounted on wood
43,2 x 61,2 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Dear Diarrhea, 2020
Oil pastel, coloured pencils, oil paint, spray paint and bone glue on Hanji paper, mounted on canvas, and wood.
203,6 x 142,6 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
An ocean of currency / water for the rich, 2021
coloured pencils, graphite, oil paint, spray paint, aquarelles and bone glue on Hanji paper, mounted on canvas, and wood
142,5 x 103 cm

William Ludwig Lutgens
Le Peuple D’abord, 2020
oil pastels, coloured pencils, bone glue and oil paint on Hanji paper, mounted on canvas, wooden frame
153,5 x 109,5 cm

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